The Philadelphia 76ers have been missing a key part of their starting lineup as of late. Throughout the first half of the 2020-2021 NBA season, the 76ers have been without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Seth Curry at times. Lately, the veteran forward, Tobias Harris, had his unfortunate turn at nursing an injury.

Last Thursday, Harris left the court early on during the third quarter with a lower-body injury. After an initial look, Philly's medical staff believed the veteran forward was dealing with a bruised knee. However, Doc Rivers and the Sixers couldn't confirm until Harris underwent an MRI the following morning.

The next day, the Sixers received good and bad news. The good news was that Harris did not suffer any structural damage to his knee. Therefore, the team could confirm he was, in fact, dealing with a knee contusion.

The bad news was Harris was ruled out of Saturday's matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Without Harris on the court, the Sixers struggled a lot -- especially in the half-court offense. While Harris's teammates didn't use his absence as an excuse, it showed just how important he is to the starting lineup.

On Monday, the 76ers geared up for another matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Although Harris wasn't initially ruled out, the Sixers did decide to keep him off the court once again as his questionable status was downgraded to out hours before tip-off in South Philly.

While the Sixers can't guarantee a return date for Harris, Doc Rivers mentioned after the game that Wednesday's matchup against the Utah Jazz wouldn't be ruled out for the veteran's potential return. 

"I hope [we see him in the final game]," Rivers said in regards to Harris after Monday's win over the Pacers. "I mean, he really tried to play tonight. We more made the call than him tonight. We need him, and hopefully, we can get him back [for the] next game."

Right now, we can assume Harris will be questionable for Wednesday's rematch against the Jazz. Considering Harris almost played on Monday, there's a chance he'll return against Utah. 

However, the Sixers aren't going to force him back into the lineup if he's truly not ready. It could be a wise move to keep him out and give the veteran some extended time off heading into the All-Star break. Soon enough, we'll see what the Sixers decide to do. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_ & Instagram: @JGrassoNBA